Book Review: Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

RATING: StarStarStarStarStar

The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on… until Kendall’s boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it’s crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear…and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating…and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico’s mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.


It’s the intent, not the word, that makes something harsh.


I’m craving for horror when I picked up Cryer’s Cross and it gave me the ultimate satisfaction… and more! From scared to terrified, it didn’t fail to give me goosebumps. I haven’t read this kind of paranormal nowadays, but boy, did I relish McMann’s spine-tingling tale! There’s just something about small towns and big secrets that appealed to my imagination.

Kendal was the sort of girl who did not let OCD gets the best of her. Because of it, she’s brutally frank, resilient with a dry sense of humor when it comes to her condition. She controlled, accepted it but cursed it sometimes. Despite the disorder, Kendal appeared as normal as any female teenager to me. That’s a good sign because McMann developed a strong character in her; eventually it will be a major coping mechanism for Kendal in the upcoming horror at Cryer’s Cross. Jacian is as real as Kendal: hardworking but bitter, angry. I wasn’t expecting any romance in the story’s premise but those electrifying moments between Kendal and Jacian were breathtaking. Oh, Jacian, I feel like slapping you, too! *giggles* Ahem. McMann definitely knows how to stir things up without straying from her original atmosphere.

Cryer’s Cross is a must read for suspense/thriller lovers like me. The paranormal phenomena was enough to keep me at my wit’s end. It is a short read but I felt the eerie story was conveyed completely: not rushed, not cliffhanged either. McMann proved to me that even without action sequences to produce a scare, fright can be delivered to readers like me through simple yet effective storytelling.



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

  1. I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while and every time I see a review for it, I think, “Man I really need to read this” It sounds spooky and creepy and exactly the kind of dark story that I like. Great review! You just reminded me yet again that this is a book I don’t want to leave forgotten on my shelf!

    Donna @ The Happy Booker

    • Hi Donna, thanks for reading! It is just 200+ pages so i know you can finish this quickly, what with the spooking and all. =) I think McMann zeroed in on the ‘old school’ paranormal, meaning way before vamps & such. Happy reading!

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